Social Media reminds me of the old telephone party line

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Social Media reminds me of the old telephone party line
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Sherri Meinke
Ohio
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March 29, 2016 - 9:46 am
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I may be dating myself here but oh well. For many of us that are 40 or older, we do remember something called a telephone – and a party line. The party line is something I do not have experience with but I do recall my parents speaking of it. I also do remember the rotary phones vs the touchtone phones of today.

I remember my parents saying that when picking up the home telephone in hopes of making a local call, instead hearing the voices of neighbors like Ruth Largen (the neighborhood gossip) who were already online. I mean on the rotary telephone.

To me, the telephone party lines of a generation or two ago are similar to today's Social Networking craze.

They also have a common denominator: Telephone party lines prompted litigation just as much as today's social media have been a part of a large number of legal actions.

In many areas, party lines were phased out by the 1970s and early '80s.

Fast-forward a couple of generations and we have replaced the telephone party line with social media outlets.

Those poor souls years ago who showed a lack of discretion on the local party line have given birth to a new generation of people who show the same lack of discretion on today's social media. It is a continuous cycle.

And the beat goes on...

Sherri Meinke

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jayesstee
Kent, England
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March 30, 2016 - 12:33 pm
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Nice comparison! I well remember party lines.

The difference is that often a subscriber was forced by the monopolt telecom provider (the Post Office, in the UK) to take a the party line option if they wanted a telephone. Nobody is forced to use so-called "social media".

My parents ran a small electrial, radio components/ bicycle bits shop, and they shared with a Butcher, whose telephone activities were mostly confined to before 9 am, so there weren't too many clashes.

If the Uk Government were to tax social media, it could solve the financial deficit overnight. Trouble is they use it to conduct Government business.

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Sherri Meinke
Ohio
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March 30, 2016 - 6:13 pm
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no one is forced to use social media but as a business owner it is a win win situation. I used to advertise in the local paper as well as the cable tv local channel. No more, I can hit everyone via social media, word of mouth...I feel connected with social media to all my customers and can let them see the human side of me and not just the computer tech/trainer that they normally know of.

I agree with you about solving the financial deficit, but they can tax something else.

Sherri Meinke

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